Porochista Khakpour | Sick: A Memoir | June 2018 | 9 minutes (2,300 words)

Ever since I can remember, I dreamed of escaping. Escaping what was always the question, but my life had been one of escape since I was born — revolution and war sent us through Asia and Europe and eventually to America. We were in exile, my parents always reminded me, we had escaped. It was temporary. But escape was also something I longed for in eighties Southern California, which constantly felt foreign to me, a place of temporary settling but no home. Everything was tan in a way my brown skin could not compete with. Everything was blond in a way my bottle-blond mother could not recreate, gilt upon gold upon gilt. Everything was carefree and smiles, gloss and glitter, and money to no end. We, meanwhile, were poor and anxious and alone. When my brother…

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